• synonyms


[ee-oh-lee-uh n]
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  1. (lowercase) Geology. noting or pertaining to sand or rock material carried or arranged by the wind.
  2. Aeolian.
  1. Aeolian2(def 3).

Origin of Eolian

First recorded in 1920–25


or E·o·li·an

[ee-oh-lee-uh n]
  1. Also Aeolic. belonging to a nation of people in ancient Greece named after Aeolus, its legendary founder.
  1. a member of one of the four main divisions of the prehistoric Greeks.Compare Achaean(def 5), Dorian1(def 2), Ionian(def 3).
  2. Aeolic(def 1).

Origin of Aeolian2

1580–90; < Latin Aeoli(ī) (< Greek Aioleîs the Aeolians, with change of suffix) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eolian

Historical Examples

  • They form approximately 40 percent of eolian depositional surfaces.


    A. S. Walker

  • Mars is the only other planet on which we have identified wind-shaped (eolian) features.


    A. S. Walker

  • The leaves seem to tremble and vibrate like the strings of an Eolian harp.

    Under the Southern Cross

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • What is the nature of the rocks belonging to the Arial or Eolian group?


    James Geikie

  • Striking it with still greater violence, I could hear a prolonged musical vibration, that reminded me of an Eolian harp.

    The Boy Tar

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for eolian


adjective, noun
  1. a variant spelling of Aeolian


  1. of or relating to the wind; produced or carried by the wind

Word Origin

C18: from Aeolus, god of the winds



  1. a member of a Hellenic people who settled in Thessaly and Boeotia and colonized Lesbos and parts of the Aegean coast of Asia Minor
  1. of or relating to this people or their dialect of Ancient Greek; Aeolic
  2. of or relating to Aeolus
  3. denoting or relating to an authentic mode represented by the ascending natural diatonic scale from A to A: the basis of the modern minor keySee also Hypo-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eolian


see Aeolian.



c.1600, "of the wind," from Latin Æolus "god of the winds," from Greek Aiolos, from aiolos "quickly moving." Æolian harp first recorded 1791. The ancient district of Aiolis in Asia Minor was said to have been named for the wind god, hence Æolian also refers to one branch of the ancient Greek people.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

eolian in Science


  1. Relating to, caused by, or carried by the wind. Loess is an eolian deposit.


  1. See eolian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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